Paying Rent in Dubai

If you are renting and are not going to pay by cash or bankers' draft you need a cheque book from a Dubai bank. You can't get a cheque book without a residents' visa - or can you? Here's the lowdown...

Updated 11-December-2014  

As part of the negotiations regarding the rent with the Landlord or his Agent you will need to discuss the number of cheques which the Landlord will accept.  So, paying rent in Dubai isn’t quite as simple as back home!  This is one of the very few countries where the landlord likes to receive one payment – upfront – for the annual rent.  In most cases the landlord will charge extra if you are going to pay by more than one cheque.   For example, if the property is renting at AED 70,000 per annum for one cheque the Landlord may accept AED 75,000 for 2 or 3 cheques.

Barter hard.  If you check out Dubizzle’s website there are currently (July 2014) just under 53,500 apartments and 14,150 villas available to rent.  That’s a lot of landlords waiting for you, or more precisely, your money!

When the rental market dropped due to the credit crunch landlords were accepting up to 6 cheques and a few 12.  Now that the Dubai rental market is more buoyant then landlords are back to the one rental cheque payments of the early 2000s.  If you do not want to pay in one cheque negotiate with the landlord and if all else fails find another property with another landlord!

Please remember – a cheque which is returned by the bank due to ‘insufficient funds’ is classed as a ‘bounced cheque’. The account holder is deemed fully responsible for this illegal act – as it is classed in Dubai.  So be very careful. Ensure you have enough money in your account to cover any cheques you may have written. Do not provide a blank cheque to anyone at any time for whatever reason, including the banks.  If you don’t have the money, don’t try to spend it!

You will be expected to pay cash for your rent in Dubai if you do not have a local bank account which is why you should double check to whom  you are giving your hard earned money.  Remember to double check that all the paperwork is correct and you’re giving the money to a ‘real’ person, not a rip-off merchant!

First things first.  Check the landlord’s documents.  You can do this by following our step-by-step process (following shortly).

Check the property described on the Tenancy Contract is the same as the one you visited and agreed to rent.  It’s always a good idea to take some photographs both externally and internally and to make a note of the address including the villa or flat number.

If you are giving the money to an agent check their Broker’s Card.  Go to their office to hand over the payment and get a receipt.

Sadly, there are some unscrupulous individuals working in the real estate industry so be wary and double check everything. If you have any queries and can’t find the answers send them to us and we’ll ask one of our real estate agents to clarify the situation.

We’d like to hear of your experiences – whether they’ve been good or bad!  On the drop-down menu just highlight ‘rental RANTSnRAVES’ then tell us your story.   We’re trying to put together a database for everyone based on the property address.  The more people add their information, the better for all of us including the good real estate agents.

Our Dubai Sherpas have been checking out setting up bank accounts in Dubai and will report back shortly.




The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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